Sigal Music Museum’s current special exhibition, Worlds Apart: Musical Instruments from Secular to Sacred, highlights items from the JoAnn and Frank Edwinn Collection, which hails from all over the world. Showing November 2023 – May 2024, Worlds Apart uses a diverse range of historical instruments, objects, and visuals to bring together musical narratives from seemingly disparate parts of the globe.
Worlds Apart: Musical Instruments from Secular to Sacred aims to increase public access to historical instruments from around the world and improve visitors’ understanding of musical traditions at the global level. Expanding beyond the typical parameters of the Western musical canon, Worlds Apart seeks to expose audiences to musical instruments and customs that are often overlooked or exotified. The instruments and other exhibit materials will offer visitors new perspectives on global music and a chance to consider how music is used for prayer and leisure in cultures around the world. By celebrating these stories, the museum intends to further its mission to collect and preserve historical musical instruments, objects, and information, which engage and enrich people of all ages through exhibits, performances, and experiential programs.
Displaying various objects from the JoAnn and Frank Edwinn Collection, Worlds Apart: Musical Instruments from Secular to Sacred focuses on international musical instruments and cultures, celebrating rites and traditions with ancient histories and contemporary legacies. Frank Edwinn, a successful basso in the mid-20th century, studied and toured internationally, eventually settling in North Carolina, where he taught music at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Throughout his life, he purchased various objects from around the world, aiming to expose students, and himself, to the wide and wonderful world of musical instruments. This impressive collection occupies a unique position for educating audiences unfamiliar with the vast scope of global music.
And, UNCA’s Ramsey Library Special Collections is now processing the Edwinn’s papers and a few recordings that will be accessible next semester!